Love locks really took hold in Paris, lovers committing to one another with one of a thousand different locks. The lock with initials, a date, a heart or two penned in, sometimes engraved. It started on the bridges spanning the Seine. The lock attached to the fence, a kiss to seal the deal. Keys tossed over the railing.
Sentiments accumulated, keys piled up on the bottom of the river six feet down. Photos taken of the locks were sent around the world. Then lovers around the world began looking for fences and bridges over bodies of water to mark their eternal devotion.
Love Locks Paris, France
Love locks date back to WWI, but really became famous in the early 2000’s, in Paris. Lovers committing to one another with one of a thousand different locks with initials, a date, a heart or two penned in permanent Sharpie marker, sometimes engraved. It started on the bridges spanning the Seine. The lock attached to the fence, a kiss to seal the deal, keys tossed over the railing. The photo above is of one of those Parisian bridges.
Portland’s Rescued Love Lock Fence
Love Locks Portland, Maine
Here in Portland, we had a fence fronting Commercial Street between two piers that extend out into the harbor. With the news from France coming in, at first there were a dozen, then a hundred, then thousands of locks attached. The fence was meant to protect people from falling into the harbor. The weight was gaining by the day and was becoming potentially too much for the fence. The City Council acted, determined that at some point, one more lock, and the whole fence would tumble into the harbor on top of thousands of keys.
People’s Security was Considered
Articles were written in the newspaper. People protested the loss of their love lock fence. A new unlock-able fence was designed and proposed with a promise that a section of the original fence with its locks would be saved. That promised section is now down on one of the piers next to a piece of the original Berlin Wall.
The picture above is of our rescued Love Lock Fence. As a work of art, it is beautiful.
Love Lock and the Deeper Meaning
Love lock. We’ve been choosing mates for thousands of years. We see, we talk, we hang out. We become attached, we agree to see each other again and again, and before we know it we’re a couple. That want, that need, that desire to be with one another is so powerful. The trip home, when we have been away, where the speed limit is 65 and we give it a little more gas to 68 or to 70 or 72 to be home just a little bit sooner because we look forward to having an extra minute, two, three together.
Hundreds of moments, thousands of touch points. Breakfast, the same newspaper and coffee. The words spoken, really nothing, and yet precious… wouldn’t miss even one breakfast for the world.
When years become decades, and decades become a life, a lock on a bridge on a fence becomes unnecessary and yet you get it, the pure sweet sincerity of youth.
So what does a Love Lock say? A lifetime of words, a lifetime together, a lifetime of love promised. It says things that words alone cannot fully express. you think back and know your lock is there, on that bridge, your words written in black permanent marker. The lock slipped in through the wire: cinch, click, lock. You look at her. She looks at you. The key tossed. Nothing written here begins to capture what really happened. Words can be so imprecise.
The jeweler steps into the room, copies the idea in precious gems, and gold. He understands because he too has been there. He also knows he can never know what it was and is between you two.
If you have ever put a love lock on a bridge or fence, or if you missed the opportunity, there’s always another chance…a Love Lock with a precious gem to be with her always.
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